Skoda Delays Big Plans To Sell Cars In The US

Industry News

Building a cheap car in India is much more important.

For those who aren't familiar with the Skoda brand, it's basically the VW Group's value brand based out of the Czech Republic. Skoda mostly builds less expensive rebadges of VW cars, but does make a few performance-oriented models. The brand has recently filed trademarks in the US, and has hinted that it wants to enter the US market within the decade. The Skoda brand could be used to help people forget about the Dieselgate scandal, but Autocar reports that Skoda's US plans have now been put on hold.

VW thought that Skoda could help improve its brand image in the US, because US consumers weren't as familiar with the Czech automaker. Unfortunately, VW entered a partnership with Tata in India to co-develop a low-cost car for emerging markets. When VW couldn't hit targets, Skoda took over the project. “We will need more time to work on the US plans now,” said Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. “The Group has asked us to lead development of a platform with a strong focus on India and to investigate building that business sustainability and in a predictable manner.

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“That is a huge task, and we must always approach projects one step at a time. There is no hurry to rush into the US and no deadline to even decide if we should be looking to go there. There’s no need to make a decision right away.” Skoda is testing the viability of VW's MQB A0 platform, which currently underpins the Polo and Seat Ibiza, as the basis for the low-cost car for emerging markets. If the company decides to develop an all-new platform, VW will have to set up manufacturing infrastructure in India. This task has been given the priority, so it may be a while before we see Skoda come to the US.

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